The Lyman Allyn Art Museum welcomes visitors from New London, Southeastern Connecticut and from all over the world. Established by a gift from Harriet Allyn in memory of her seafaring father, the museum opened the doors of its beautiful neo-classical building in 1932. Today it houses a fascinating collection of over 16,000 objects from ancient times to the present; artworks from Africa, Asia, the Americas, and Europe, with particularly strong collections of American paintings, decorative arts, and Victorian toys and doll houses.
Complementing the eye-opening “American Stories” galleries, which display works drawn from the permanent collection, the Lyman Allyn presents a number of changing exhibitions each year. These special shows highlight creativity in its fullest definition – encouraging visitors to experience the pleasures of art through many lenses of discovery, history, social, and cultural phenomenon with focus on the character and strengths of Southeastern Connecticut. Throughout each year, the Lyman Allyn Art Museum offers special programming including exhibition openings, lectures, educational opportunities, and musical events for families and the general public.
The Lyman Allyn Art Museum is particularly proud of its commitment to provide art education and cultural enrichment to the youth of our region, with over 3,500 school children visiting the Museum each year. The Lyman Allyn collaborates with New London and Southeastern Connecticut school systems to design art programs based on specific curriculum needs for students in grades pre-K through 12. The Lyman Allyn’s educational services also include special vacation and summer day camp programs for area children.
With reduced school budgets impacting the opportunity for children to participate in art education programs, the Lyman Allyn Art Museum underwrites the cost of field trip transportation, admission, and hands-on art projects through our “Yellow Bus Fund,” the result of years of support from generous donors and sponsoring organizations. Full subsidies are available for New London schools, and partial subsidies are available for other school districts. The Lyman Allyn is committed to providing its education program to all children, regardless of their particular circumstances, so they can enjoy the rich resources of the museum, experience cultural activities in their many dimensions, and develop an appreciation for the visual arts.